Sunday, October 31, 2010

bird's eye view

There is always a bigger picture.
Sometimes, it is important to mind that "bigger picture". There are also times when a "quick and dirty analysis" for an answer right now is the best move. Either way, you need a calm head to figure out which direction to take.

I have to say this; It bothers me that our State Attorneys (thanks Makola Law) lose cases that the public feels should be won.
I'm bothered that our journalists rave & rant about issues affecting the masses BUT do not lay down facts and figures to support their points.
Passion is good but Passion doesn't win legal debates.
Passion PLUS facts does.

So, about the Ghana MP's & them getting laptops.
Kajsa has a post & good commentary going on at her spot.

The arguments I've heard so far, in my opinion, have been on the personal/ passionate side. A few of them are:
1. The MPs are getting free personal laptops paid for by the tax payer.
2. These laptops will not be used by the MPs. They will end up with their girlfriends/concubines/ kids.
3. Personal interaction is needed between MPs and their constituents. Not contact/interaction by email.
4. The citizens of Ghana are in dire need of clean water, reliable electricity, better facilities for secondary & tertiary schools. Laptops for MPs should not be the priority today.

Yes. Based on history, we can expect some MPs to keep these laptops for themselves.
Heck, civil servants have been known to unlawfully occupy state-owned homes beyond their terms of service, unlawfully claim state-owned vehicles they used during their term of service, etc etc.

However, we can't jump in on this case where we choose to.

The MPs getting these laptops is part of a larger program.
The eGhana Project, funded by a loan from the World Bank.
I'm not sold on loans from World Bank, IMF or other countries. But that's another topic altogether.

My beef with "journalists" writing about laptops for MPs is that none of the articles I've read mentions the eGhana Project.
That is the big picture. Let's discuss that!
Are we making good use of those funds?
Are we meeting the Millennium Development Goals as scheduled?
Are The People going to benefit from this investment in our MPs?
Thousands of jobs are expected to be created. Is that real?

I'm giving each MP a lot of credit, doubting that they are dishonest (and I cringe as I say this). There will be some dishonest ones. the ones that will not use the laptops for official duties and will keep them for themselves.
Smoke the incompetent MPs out at some point, but lets look at the big picture and work towards meeting the goals that called for MPs getting laptops.

Here is a starting point: Go to page 14 (World Bank SOPE Ghana FY 2010)
Now dig deeper and decide for yourself where to focus your attention.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It hurts only when I'm awake

So many intelligent Ghanaians blogging.
Lots of outstanding ideas to make Ghana a better place for Ghanaians.
Passion over-flowing.
All around me, I see each of them doing extraordinary things.
They recognize the ills and all that must change, and some are working towards that change.

This small community gives me hope, but change is needed now on a large scale.
If there was a way, I'd move all these brains into environments where they can be effective at a national level.

I'm awake again.